By Hanie Hj Abd Hamid
His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday witnessed a colourful 26th National Day parade yesterday at Taman Hj Sir Muda Omar Ali Saifuddien in the capital.
Accompanying His Majesty were HRH Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office, HRH Prince Mohamed Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji Sufri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji Jefri Bolkiah, HRH Prince Haji 'Abdul 'Azim, HRH Prince 'Abdul Malik and HRH Prince 'Abdul Mateen.
Following the arrival of His Majesty, the national anthem was played and the monarch proceeded to inspect the royal guard of honour. The grand celebration commenced with a patriotic song performance followed by the march past.
'Negaraku Brunei Darussalam' is the theme for this year's National Day celebration, which emphasises on "our country" among the citizens.
The spirit of belonging to the country touches all aspects including leadership, government, constitution, laws, cultural tradition, heritage, and its principles.
It is our responsibility as citizens to obey the ruler, practise the Islamic way of life, preserve cultural traditions, preserve and defend sovereignty, respect the constitution, abide by the laws, preserve the stability, develop the economy, upgrade the living standards, sustain our image and pride and maintain the solidarity and harmony.
His Majesty was greeted by the students waving the Brunei flag and beating of Hadrah, which were followed by the royal salute and the national anthem.
The joyous occasion commenced with a patriotic song followed by the parade of 109 teams comprising 17,000 participants from ministries, uniformed personnel, education institutions, private sector, special needs people, NGOs and foreign associations in front of His Majesty and other members of the royal family.
Amongst the participants were HRH Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah as one of the members of UBD Army Cadets. Also participating was Pengiran Anak Khairul Khalil bin Pg Syed Al-Jaafari with the officers and staff of the Prime Minister's Office.
Soon after the parade ended, the reading of the National Day oath by 25 selected youths from various institutions and the private sector followed and was led by Haji Muhammmad Khairul Bahrin bin Hj Duraman, the gold medal winner in Silat at the SEA Games in Laos.
The highlight of the celebration was the formation of number 26 showing the 26th National Day performed by the participants using their 'pom-pom' props.
- Borneo Bulletin
(24th February 2010)